Barack Obama’s historic, transformational and thundering win early on Wednesday afternoon Bali time has left people the world over breathing a collective sigh of relief that the calamitous times during the Bush presidency are about to end and a new, vastly improved order is about to begin.
When president-elect Obama is sworn into office in Washington on January 20, it will mark a sea change in America’s relationship with the rest of the world, which under President Bush nosedived to historic lows, and vitriolic hatred.
A poll run by Jakarta-based news site detik.com this week had 93.27 percent of locals in favor of Obama against 6.73 percent for McCain, who despite his campaign assertions that he was not aligned with venomous Bush policies was largely perceived by the electorate as just so.
The US electorate, including here in Bali, had long since grown weary – and mistrustful – of the Republicans’ campaigning on the self-serving fear factor of terrorism while growing ever more endeared to the energizing hope factor of the Democrats.
On this page two editions ago, we proclaimed our support for Senator Obama to become the next president of the US, and are enormously pleased that the man who lived in Jakarta as a child and knows something of this country won the marathon race to the White House.
All over the world, people are celebrating and partying, looking forward to what one American voter told the BBC at Times Square, “closure.” We are, too. This is a global victory, a resounding repudiation of the warmongering and astounding ineptitude of the secretive Bush years that trampled on rights and international laws and public sentiment, and everyone has a stake.
Obama’s win marks the start of a new era – of hope, prosperity, peace – and stability. As the president-elect declared in his victory speech, speaking to those beyond American’s shores: “A new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”